Fiona Moses: The Granary
With a move to Tasmania the Moses family have opened the doors to Tasmanian colonial heritage
Leaving the busy streets of Sydney behind, the Moses children are enjoying the same country upbringing
as their parents. What’s more, it’s on a northern Tasmanian property where the walls of the historic homestead whisper tales nearly 200 years old. For the first time Richmond Hill’s doors are open, transformed into a luxe country escape.
Fiona and Nick Moses were leading busy Sydney lives when they visited Fiona’s brother at Blackwood Creek farm in Tasmania where she grew up. It’s a tiny dot on the map that few will have heard of. However, it was the catalyst for a new Tasmanian life for the Moses clan. The small community borders Cressy, home to some of Tasmania’s oldest farms and it just so happened a Cressy patch of land was for sale.
Nick grew up in rural New South Wales and Fiona left Tasmania at age 17. The two met in Sydney where Fiona worked as a Qantas flight attendant and Nick was carving a strong career as a futures trader. When Fiona was pregnant with their third child, they agreed it was time to provide their children with the same country air they had both enjoyed during their own childhoods.
“We stayed some years at that first Cressy property before Richmond Hill came up for sale and we couldn’t resist,” smiles Fiona. “I was longing for my own project having been a Mum for so long and turning The Granary at Richmond Hill into luxury accommodation was just right. Nick is fortunate in that he can work from anywhere – it’s such a global world – technology connects us. Plus, we’re only 30 minutes from Launceston and less to the airport.”
Through a history box that has been kept by every owner of the Richmond Hill property, Fiona has learned much about its early days which dates back to 1809 when James Brumby was granted 100 acres. It’s believed James was unable to muster all his horses before sailing to Tasmania and many became wild. When locals asked whose they were, the answer was “they’re Brumby’s,” hence the name ‘Brumbies’ for wild horses.
The property was also a strong military base using the Macquarie River for transport where remnants of a forte still exist. It was then bought by the Cressy Company, who brought in Australia’s first Hereford cattle. Today, guests can engage with the past, starting from the moment they enter a driveway lined with heritage-listed Hawthorn hedges.
The Granary opened in early 2019, accommodating up to six guests across two levels, and it is already gracing travel magazine pages. There are three generous bedrooms, designed by Fiona, and a large communal space featuring a cosy fireplace. Wrapped in historic sandstone, the Granary sits in carefully-manicured gardens complete with an entry fountain, hazelnut grove and orchard to wander in.
“I love the garden and I can lose hours tending to it,” says Fiona. “We’re enjoying a renewed appreciation for the little things in life here. I get to wonder what type of bird is in the tree or appreciate how pretty the mountains are. It’s a really gentle way of life.”
It’s not all bird watching though. Managing a 150-acre property requires constant care. These days, the family does not travel as much as they used to. As the caretakers of Richmond Hill, they’re enjoying having travellers come to them.
“We’ve had such a wonderful response to the Granary with guests coming from nearby and overseas. As business builds, I look forward to employing more people in the area to help us along. It’s such a strong community. We had a rural relief fundraising day where we opened the garden up and were overwhelmed by the generosity. We’re in a unique position with this property to give back and be part of a big farming family.”
When Fiona is not front of house, website designer, cleaner, meet and greeter, copywriter and mother to four, she loves escaping to the countryside. She and daughter Millie recently climbed Dry’s Bluff, a peak along the Great Western Tiers in view of their property. Millie’s artwork also features in the Granary, a three-year-old’s self-portrait at the beach complete with a cat under her arm. Among all the fine touches and high-end finishes, it’s an authentic country escape.
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Find out more about The Granary.
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